The Spec Z class is now more than one year old, and the teams and drivers are starting to gel. Lap times continue to fall and competition is getting tighter as more cars enter the class.
Joe Ippolito set a new track record in August at Road Atlanta in the Z1 Motorsports Nismo 350Z. The Z1 Motorsports car sat on the pole and won both events of the weekend. Clark Crawford finished second in each race, with David Walsh Jr. a close third both days.
But the highlight of the weekend was the effort by all the Spec Z teams rallying to help David Levine repair his car after a nasty spin into the Turn 7 concrete barrier during Saturday morning practice. David was OK, but the car was hurt pretty badly. What was left of the rear body work was pushed all the way to the tires and the suspension was way out of alignment. Immediately, the Spec Z teams all jumped into action to assess the damage. They all agreed that this car was reparable and could be raced. However, Mr. Levine was not so optimistic.
Scott Clements, crew chief for the Paul Walsh Nissan 350Z driven by David Walsh Jr, worked most of Saturday evening and well into the night pulling the rear body work back into “raceable” position with a powered “come-along.” Z1 Motorsports supplied parts and manpower as well. Joe Ippolito then did a quick alignment on the rear end Sunday morning. Almost unbelievably, the car was ready to race before lunch Sunday morning.
A very nervous David Levine started and finished the race, in last place, winning the now famous Spec Z “last place award” of a beautiful and very snazzy pink “Hello Kitty” cap. Levine is very proud of his award and has promised to wear it to all future events! Seriously, Levine was amazed to make the race and thankful that the Spec Z family pulled together to get him back on track.